Guiana Dolphin (Sotalia guianensis)


Diver swam with Guiana dolphin
Image-Source / Envato

The Guiana dolphin, scientifically known as Sotalia guianensis, is a fascinating member of the oceanic dolphin family found in the coastal waters to the north and east of South America, as well as east of Central America. Also referred to as the estuarine dolphin or costero, this species possesses unique characteristics that distinguish it from other dolphins.


Guiana dolphin
imagesourcecurated / Envato

The Guiana dolphin is characterized by a sleek, slender body and a distinctively long, beak-like snout. Its dorsal fin is triangular and slightly hooked, contributing to its graceful and agile movement through the water. This species typically displays a light to bluish-gray coloration on its back, which transitions to a lighter shade on the underside, creating an eye-catching contrast. Notably, the Guiana dolphin often exhibits a prominent, crescent-shaped marking around its eye, adding to its distinctive appearance.


Diver watching group of Guiana dolphins
Image-Source / Envato

The Guiana dolphin is primarily found in the coastal waters of South America, with significant populations inhabiting regions to the north and east of the continent. This species is known to thrive in the waters off countries such as Brazil, Guyana, Suriname, and Venezuela. Notably, the distribution of the Guiana dolphin encompasses estuarine and coastal environments, where it demonstrates remarkable adaptability to varying water conditions and temperatures.

Habitat Preferences

The Guiana dolphin exhibits a preference for diverse ecosystems, including coastal marine, brackish, and freshwater environments. It is often observed in shallow waters, particularly in estuaries and river mouths, where it can navigate through a range of habitats with ease. These environments provide the Guiana dolphin with abundant food sources and offer crucial breeding and nursing grounds for its population, highlighting the significance of preserving these coastal ecosystems for the species’ well-being.

Through its unique characteristics, distribution, and habitat preferences, the Guiana dolphin represents a captivating species that contributes to the rich biodiversity of the coastal regions of South America, emphasizing the importance of conservation efforts to safeguard its future.

Facts About Guiana dolphin

  • The Guiana dolphin (Sotalia guianensis) is a small South American dolphin often confused with the Tucuxi.
  • It inhabits shallow waters in coastal marine, brackish, and freshwater environments.
  • The Guiana dolphin is one of the smallest dolphins and is commonly seen in coastal areas of the southwest Atlantic Ocean.
  • This species is known for its distinctive beak and a row of 4–7 crypts on each side of the beak.
  • Guiana dolphins are coastal cetaceans that inhabit regions down to a depth of 50 meters.
  • They are considered to be marine ecosystem sentinels due to their coastal distribution and exposure to various environmental factors.
  • The lifespan of Guiana dolphins is estimated to be around 30 years.
  • These dolphins are known for their social behavior and are often observed in groups.
  • The population parameters of Guiana dolphins have been studied in various coastal regions.
  • Guiana dolphins are also referred to as estuarine dolphins or costero.

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